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Seattle Sounders Add Trialist - Richard Martinez of PR Islanders and Hofstra

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A player with the Puerto Rico National Team, with the PR Islanders of USSF D2 and formerly of Hofstra joins trialists Lamar Neagle and Jonathan Prieto with the Seattle Sounders during their Florida swing of winter training. Martinez is an either side fullback who has played in the PDL as well. With Hofstra he had 2 goals and 6 assists playing primarily as a centerback prior to his final season.

With the Puerto Rico Islanders he has experience playing with an MLS caliber coach, Colin Clarke, and playing against MLS caliber teams - playing 180 minutes in the Islanders trouncing of the Los Angelex Galaxy in last years CONCACAF Champions League Prelim Round. Though he was responsible for an own goal. He also started and finished all six Group Stage matches of the Islanders 2-2-2 performance in their group where they gave up 10 goals in total.

PasionNaranja (DC United, PR Islanders, PR Nats fan on twitter) sees him as one of the better rookie defenders in D2 last year. Martinez is likely ready for MLS, but not likely as a regular in first team action.

The addition of Martinez as a 34th player in camp also gives us some insight into where the position and roster battles are. With Roger Levesque being turned into a super-sub, and with Danny Earls and Tyson Wahl getting significant 2nd team playing time this puts some pressure onto Zach Scott and maybe onto Juan Cruz as well. Scott as another either side full back, and Cruz because he's a young defender with centerback and right back experience.

Speaking of Cruz, our FC Dallas affiliate (Big D Soccer) caught up with his SMU coach and asked about Leone's chances at succeeding in MLS.

I think he’s got a bright future. He played out of position for us at right back because of his ability to go forward and attack. I think he’s got a lot to offer, he’s got good size and reads the game unbelievably well. Technically he’s very very comfortable on the ball and I think he makes good decisions and can make those decisions at that level [MLS]

Adrian Hanauer and the Sounders keep finding ways to bring young, up-and-coming talent to join the team. Even if just for a short look. What impresses me is that there isn't this fascination with "Europe = better" but instead a look at people who can succeed on this continent.

Below the break are Sigi's quotes for the day

(On first day of training in Florida...) "It's good. Obviously yesterday was a long travel day. When you have to connect on a flight and you have a long layover, by the time we got to the apartments it was 11 o'clock at night. You know they are going to be a little bit rusty but today was just a shake off the cobwebs and get a good warm-up in, run a little bit. I was happy with the effort, which was the main thing today."

(On IMG Soccer Academy...) "It's nice. I've been here before with teams and we trained here as well with the youth national team when I was coaching them. This area that we are in right now are all new fields that they have added over the past two, three years. It's definitely a good facility. It's a little bit different. You're not staying at a hotel but it's also a comfortable situation for the team. The weather is good. The fields are good as well."

(On upcoming training games...) "This next week or two we want to push guys to 60-70 minutes now in the games instead of holding guys to 40 [minutes]. There's been select guys that we have pushed to 60 minutes but we've held most guys to 45 [minutes]. Now we want to push them a little bit beyond that. Also want to start getting certain groups of players, certain teams start playing a little bit together, see what our first team will look like, see what combinations look best."

(On trialist Richard Martinez...) "Richard is somebody we had last year in our combine and we didn't hold onto him at that point. He had a good year last year [with the Puerto Rico Islanders] and we wanted to take another look at him. He's somebody that can play outside back, mainly on the right side but he can also play on the left side. So we wanted to get a good look."